Friday, 23 July 2010

Villiers vignettes... on the benefits of privatisation

Telegrammed by Our Man at 222 Marylebone Road
That Bourbon moment...

Theresa Villiers: on 22 July. "The hon. Gentleman's views on the railways are well known, although I am afraid that I do not share them. It would have been impossible for there to have been the significant growth in passenger numbers that we have seen since privatisation without the benefits that private sector innovation and enterprise have brought. Reversing things and renationalising the *railways* would be a retrograde step."

Oh bliss, John Major lives!! Talk dirty to us, Theresa

But why did you miss out 'entrepreneurial flair'.

And where was the obligatory side swipe at 'deeply inefficient British Rail'?

The key to good retro lies in the detail. So, sadly, only 7 out of 10.

But thanks for trying.

UPDATE: This from Leo Pink...

Surely the bulk of the growth came after the Strategic Rail Authority was subsumed into DfT and the state took control of timetabling, rolling stock policy, franchise service specification.

UPDATE: This from Captain Deltic...

Isn't "rolling stock policy" an oxymoron?

UPDATE: This from Steve Strong...

So how does Theresa explain the growth on state owned London Underground over the same period which was equal to, if not greater than, that experienced on the privatised BR network?

Hammond - all talk and no trousers

Telegrammed by Ithuriel
To recap on Bonusgate...

According to the Guardian report on the Network Rail AGM, . 'There were 37 votes in favour of the pay report, 31 against and nine active abstentions, including the Department for Transport's single vote'.

Oh yes, DfT is indeed a member.

And Mr Hammond has been writing to Ricky Haystacks asking him to go easy on the Iain Coucher Classic Car fund payments.

Not only that but the Prime Minister's spokeswoman said that Mr Cameron was 'disappointed'.at the news of the vote in favour of moolah-all-round.

So come on Phil - why did DfT abstain?

Pointless signs - Norwich

And which 'footbridge or subway' might that be then?

Fenchurch Street to close in 2011?

It appears that an email is doing the rounds of c2c customers announcing that Fenchurch Street is going to be closed for 8 months in 2011 for refurbishment work.

Sadly The Fact Compiler hasn't seen the offending message - but it is clearly being taken very seriously by C2C who have felt obliged to issue the following denial to all their customers...

From: c2c Alerting Service
Date: 22 July 2010 16:58:31 GMT+01:00
Subject: London Fenchurch Street Station - A message to all our customers

London Fenchurch Street station - A message to all our customers

I would like to reassure c2c customers who have contacted us in recent days after having received emails from friends or colleagues claiming that London Fenchurch Street station is to be temporarily closed in 2011 for a period of months as part of a proposed redevelopment of the station and surrounding area. The e-mail is entirely spurious and its original source is unknown, but it has been widely circulated and has caused understandable concern to those people receiving it.

I can categorically confirm that this rumour is totally untrue. There are no plans whatsoever for any such major closure of London Fenchurch Street either in 2011 or later.

I hope this clarifies matters and reassures all our customers. There are no plans to close Fenchurch Street .

Julian Drury
Managing Director

Truth travels like a tortoise, rumour like a hare.